As part of its mission to support the decarbonisation of the global transport and energy sectors, Ricardo
— a global environmental, engineering and consulting company — has received Government funding to optimise in-car thermal and energy management systems to improve electric vehicle (EV) range and battery performance, and thereby help accelerate consumer adoption of battery electric vehicles.
Partnering with Jaguar Land Rover
and using a Jaguar I-PACE as a demonstrator vehicle, Ricardo engineers will be ‘looking holistically at whole-vehicle thermal management’ and use digital modelling techniques to optimise the thermal and control systems.
The research will ‘optimise energy consumption and driver/passenger comfort’, with the aim of increasing electric vehicle range by 5% while reducing overall cost by 10%. The project has been funded by the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
Teri Hawksworth, president of Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA, said: “The UK Government has committed to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. There is a real need for innovative technology solutions that will drive cost out of electrification and enhance electric vehicle performance, efficiency, safety and cost, to encourage consumer take-up.
“Leveraging Ricardo’s proven track record in electrification engineering and green mobility solutions, we are very pleased to have received the funding, which will enable us to support the mass adoption of electrification by making it more affordable and help the UK reach its ‘net zero’ goals.”
Currently, the range of an EV is affected by hot and cold ambient temperatures. When drivers turn up the heat in their car in winter or enjoy air conditioning in the summer, electrical energy consumption increases, reducing the range of an electric vehicle by almost one third. To reduce thermal system energy consumption, individual technologies have been proposed in isolation without adapting the rest of the vehicle systems to take advantage of them.
In this project, Ricardo will apply advanced control approaches that automatically establish the best way of integrating new components and thermal system architectures into EVs, taking a systems level approach.
Additionally, the project will seek to improve range by reducing energy consumption, product development time and costs through a predictive thermal management system using an ‘electronic horizon’. It will also optimise driver/passenger comfort using a ‘comfort controller’; this will regulate heat sources to achieve a comfort level instead of a specified temperature.